Matz,

 I been thinking - Dangerous, I know :-)

If you do not like "File.absolute_path()",  have you
considered adding a parameter to File.expand_path:

I see two possibilities:

1)   File.expand_path( file_name [, ABS  [, dir_string] ] ) 
2)  File.expand_path( file_name [, dir_string  [, ABS] ] )

     ---Where ABS is true for absolute path processing.

While I find this a "busier" solution than the other,
this might not be a universal conclusion!

If the typical usage of File.expand_path is just
using argument one,  then option one is probably
best:
    File.expand_path(filename)   
    File.expand_path(filename, ABS)  
    File.expand_path(filename, ABS, dir)  

However, if this is not the case:
   File.expand_path(filename, dir)   
   File.expand_path(filename, dir, ABS)

You could make a good case that Option One (1)
is probably the best in both cases.  It is easier to
insert a constant, than having to define a <dir>
anytime you want to use the ABS Option.

Chuck

-- 
Competency and chastity have much in common,
they both encompass their own punishment! 
 
-- C.E. Thornton -- Hawthorne Press --